By Alison Bailin Batz
Photo by Debby Wolvos
EVO is a true homage to owner Nick Neuman’s memories of visiting his mother’s family in Italy. As such, every element of the menu, including the cocktails, ties back to the central and northern regions of Italy, from cioppino and tagliatelle to ragu and – its Bronze Boar?
“The Bronze Boar ($12) is inspired by the Rob Roy cocktail [the scotch-based cousin of the Manhattan], but true to Nick’s vision, we use Italian-based elements and our own little twists,” says Jake Russell, EVO’s bar manager. “The name itself is in part a tribute to the wild boar that roam Tuscany and in part for our base spirit, Pig’s Nose Scotch Whisky.”
According to Russell, this spirit is “as smooth as a pig’s nose” and far more approachable than some of the grainer options on the market.
“We use a mixing glass to build the drink, adding Casa Martelletti Sweet Vermouth and Luxardo Sangue Morlacco – a cherry liqueur – to the whisky base.”
“Before stirring, we add Angostura Bitters so it truly has a hint of each of the five basic flavors our taste buds crave: sweet, salty, bitter, sour and savory.”
While building the cocktail, Russell rinses an Old-Fashioned glass in absinthe and lets a handmade ice cube mold itself to the glass, eventually removing the excess water before pouring in the liquid. The drink is finished by expressing an orange peel on top to glean its fragrant oil.
EVO, 4175 N. Goldwater Blvd., Scottsdale; 480.265.9814; www.evoscottsdale.com.